New Delhi | Supreme Court today came down heavily on former Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan saying he was trying to drag on proceedings in the graft case relating to import of palmolein oil in 1991 by the then Congress-led state government. It seems you (Achuthanandan) want to keep the matter pending to score points against each other. Are you trying to fish in troubled waters? We will not allow this gameplan to continue, a bench of justices T S Thakur and Adarsh Kumar Goel told the CPI(M) leader’s counsel.
The court also rejected Achuthanandan’s counsel’s request for grant of two weeks time to file his response relating to the Kerala High Court order refusing to allow further probe into the palmolein case. It then fixed the matter for hearing on February nine and said, Be prepared for heavy cost. We will not allow the judicial process to be abused.
During the hearing, the counsel for Achuthanandan said the High Court had disallowed his plea for further probe into the 23-year-old palmolein import scam case, in which names of some politicians and bureaucrats have cropped up. The scam had taken place during the stint of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy as state finance minister.
The case relates to the import of palm oil at inflated price by the Kerala government from a Malaysia-based company between October 4, 1991 and April 1992 causing a loss of Rs 2.33 crores to the state exchequer. The counsel for Kerala, however, told the court that further probe has already been conducted and a final report has been filed against the current Chief Minister.
A protest petition has also been filed before the trial court against the closure report, he said. However, the bench put the matter for consideration on Monday on CPI(M) leader’s plea for filing detailed response. Earlier the apex court had asked the High Court to expeditiously decided on the state government’s plea seeking to withdraw the palmolein import scam case.